Off-Shore, Blatt 1 aus dem blauen Skizzenbuch, Aquarell auf Papier DIN A4, Köln 2008
Underway on a sports catamaran and something is happening on the horizon. There wasn’t a single storm that I had to sail through that hadn’t been announced in advance.
I don’t sail the world’s oceans, that would get too boring after 3 days, I’d rather sail for 3 hours and arrive. So I’m more of a coastal sailor. This also has the advantage of always being able to reach a shore, a bay or a harbor before it gets turbulent. Nevertheless, I have come into a storm 4 times and why? Because I saw the signs but ignored them.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced sailor or not. As soon as you see something in the sky that you think is unusual, you should always go to the nearest mooring. As an inexperienced sailor, you will often experience that it would not have been necessary to seek shelter, but it is still advisable to show respect for the sea and your God-given life, because we are not made for the sea. You will soon get to know some phenomena as harmless from the safety of the shore and in time you will become a safe sailor. I have almost always stuck to this rule, but not always.
Choppy seas don’t stop me, but when I realize that the horizon is no longer as far away as it normally is, it’s time to retreat. Any other phenomenon or oddity should always be met with a timely turn into a harbor. The idea that „I’ll get to shore quickly enough when it starts“ can quickly lead to a misconception that is realized too late. The swell near the shore can be even more dangerous. Maneuvering into a marina is also dangerous in sudden storms. You are often not the only stupid person who has noticed what is going on too late. And in our waters in particular, there are many German-flagged boats that intuitively set the right of way rules in such a stressful situation. The bigger ship wins. Then you have to bite the bullet and weather the storm, i.e. sail clear so that you don’t collide with a rock and can’t ram other ships or be rammed by them. But even this is only possible as long as there is visibility.
In a light sports catamaran, weathering means taking in the mainsail, remaining maneuverable with the jib for as long as possible and, if this is no longer possible, clinging to the main mast with both legs and arms and continuing to ride until the storm has subsided.
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